In the powder keg that is the Fort Collins music scene, one band above all others threatens to make a spark. Self-described as an "American Revival Stomp Shake Ass Holla" band, Musketeer Gripweed is easily the most unique act to emerge from the Choice City, which has become a hotbed of creative energy the world doesn't want to miss out on.
Equal parts roots rock, Delta blues, and performance art, a Musketeer Gripweed performance transports audiences to a world long past - one crisscrossed with dusty country roads and populated by highway bandits, snake-oil salesmen, and charlatans.
This experience is centered on front man Jason Downing, who transforms on stage into the charismatic Reverend Monkey-Paw Patterson. A wild-eyed pioneer preacher armed with gasoline, straight razors, and hellfire, Rev. Patterson leads shows with all the energy and hunger of a prairie fire.
Crowds at a Musketeer Gripweed concert are whipped into a near-religious frenzy, and can often be seen shaking their own "monkey paws" (an open hand with fingers clenched) in time with the beat.
Lyrics conjure the scenes of decades of American mythology, from hardscrabble pioneer towns to Chicago speakeasies to the rivers and swamps of the Deep South. "A good show is about separating yourself from reality for awhile," says Downing. "That's where we can really get our message across."
The band's 2011 debut album "Dyin' Day" took the Colorado music scene by storm, and was one of the year's top-selling albums from independent Colorado artists. Gripweed's latest album, 2012's "Straight Razor Revival" has seen equally enthusiastic reactions from critics and fans alike.
"Musketeer Gripweed has found their own voice. And it's a powerful one, indeed. Downing and company plow through some of the headiest freak and roll this side of the Crowes, and Straight Razor Revival shows the band at its strongest, whether they're singing about catching catfish, or deep social change." -Marquee Magazine.
The album cranks the tempo and energy level of Gripweed's music to the next level, creates a modern day music revival that pulls rock up from the roots, and also features the soulful slide guitar work of Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi All Stars and The Black Crowes.
Jason Downing - guitar, dobro, harmonica, vocals
Ehren Crumpler - guitar, vocals
Ben Hockett - bass
Matt Goldberg - keys
Stu Crair - drums, percussion